Try to get a referral. Do you have friends or professional colleagues who have had immigration issues?? Chances are they used a lawyer and have an opinion on the quality of their work.
After you have schedule a consultation, you have to come to the table prepared with facts and information that the lawyer needs, to get the most for your money.
In our office, a consultation with an attorney helps even if you never hire us, because we spend several (free) minutes and usually 20-60 (paid) on the phone asking questions and giving answers – so that you can start shaping an immigration strategy to help you achieve your goals. If we’re not the ones for the job, we end a call with some advice and send you to a reputable “AILA” firm which matches your needs.
If you have a complex case, getting a second opinion is advisable. Take a look at my blog post titled, “Choosing Immigration Counsel” to help you know what to look for when shopping around: http://ryvinimmigrationblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-do-i-choose-best-corporate.html.
Ask each lawyer which visa they recommend off the facts discussed in the 30-45 minute session, including possible back-up plans, and ask each for some examples of their recent similar cases (they should provide a 2-minute fact scenario).
IMPORTANT TIP: If the lawyer stalls during the conversation because their sub-focus is really in large/easy corporate immigration work (where complex issues are the exception rather than the rule), deportation or another immigration area. Hopefully they will hint at this potential weakness and then you simply ask them to recommend another business immigration lawyer they know and trust.
Lots of luck with your ongoing venture!